After delivering an objectively strong quarter that won't be reflected in JPMorgan's stock price because everyone is selling financial stocks into a shallow Friday rally at the end of the first week of the next recession [ooooh, look who's making big boy predicitions], Jamie Dimon jumped on the phones to continue his ongoing "Bank CEO "Not" Running for President" routine.
What we got today was not the "I could beat Trump's ass with one hand tied behind my back" Jamie Dimon (that tactic already worked like a charm), but a more cautiously sanguine version who seemed suddenly appreciative of the current president's insufficient efforts.
Here's official Jamie, part of a prepared statement that kicked things off:
"The U.S. and the global economy continue to show strength, despite increasing economic and geopolitical uncertainties, which at some point in the future may have negative effects on the economy."
As the passive-aggressives say in Queens; "It's good...could be better."
And here are some unofficial Jamies, a few off-the-cuffers that give us a better picture of where the Dimon 2020 campaign stands right now...
On geopolitical uncertainties:
"So far, we still have a strong economy in spite of these increasing overseas geopolitical issues bursting all over the place."
"Brexit, Italy, trade, reversals of QE, Turkey, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, it's an extensive list of stuff,"
On interest rates:
"I was pointing out the probabilities that I thought were higher that rates would go up. I still believe that. I do think you're going to see higher rates."
"I have much higher odds of it being 4% than most other people."
On the current administration:
"The business community has active and good dialogue across the whole administration...I'll give you one example, on trade the business community didn't agree with the tactics, but we like the fact he did NAFTA, he's talking to Europe and Japan, and it looks like he'll start talking again to China."
What Jamie didn't talk about directly was the chatter that he was the one man who could put a halt to this week's market carnage, because that was the whole point of the call. Dimon was clearly trying to play nice with the White House today because the last thing the markets need is America's Banker calling out the president for fucking up the economy. Instead, Jamie went with a defense of Trump that fell somewhere between lazy and not 100% convincing.
To wit, here's Jamie on Trump's ongoing public criticism of The Fed:
"I've never seen a president who wanted interest rates to go up."
Wow, we got a sunburn from the heat of that one [now he's big boy sarcastic].
Over all, this call was about a nice quarter for JPM, yadda yadda, and a sign that Jamie Dimon is slinking back into a more inscrutable posture from which to launch his 2020 presidential bud. He's telling the world that he likes the good stuff Trump is doing, and unsubtly intimating that he can do it better.
And if you don't believe us, we'll refer you to a big fat Easter Egg that Jamie left for the soldiers of the #DraftDimon movement in his prepared remarks:
“We just opened our first branch in Washington, D.C. ...And every time we open branches in a new market, we bring the full force of JPMorgan Chase to that community.”
He's coming, Washington DC, and hell's coming with him!